As it happened: Cong claims victory in Uttarakhand trust vote
The crucial floor test to ascertain whether sacked chief minister Harish Rawat has the majority in the Uttarakhand Assembly concluded on Tuesday morning following Supreme Court directions with nine disqualified Congress MLAs being kept out of it. Earlier in the day, BSP chief Mayawati extended support to the Congress in a big boost to Rawat. Uttarakhand crisisUpdated: May 10, 2016 17:17 IST
The crucial floor test to ascertain whether sacked chief minister Harish Rawat has the majority in the Uttarakhand Assembly concluded on Tuesday morning following Supreme Court directions with nine disqualified Congress MLAs being kept out of it.
Here are the highlights of the day’s events related to trust vote in Uttarakhand assembly:
12:30pm: Harish Rawat on floor test
- Won’t comment on what happened inside. Clouds of uncertainty will soon vanish.
- Hope clouds of uncertainty over state will disappear and things will be clearer tomorrow.
- Harish Rawat said after floor test, “I thank SC, democratic forces, people of Uttarakhand & gods. Uttarakhand will be victorious tomorrow.”
- Harish Rawat appears to have got majority in the Uttarakhand Assembly. BJP MLA says only 28 voted for them in the 61-member House.
- BJP leader Ganesh Joshi said after floor test, “BJP saidhantik roop se vijayi hui hai par aankdon ke khel mein hum reh gaye. (Principally BJP has won but on the number game party trailed).”
- BJP leader Teerath Singh Rawat said, “The Supreme Court will open the sealed envelope tomorrow. Voting happened by the way of ‘raising hands’.
- BJP MLA’s comes out of House. MLA Pushkar Dhami says voting completed on the trust
- President’s rule temporarily lifted for two hours in Uttarakhand as proceedings for floor test begin in assembly.
- BSP chief Mayawati said, “No deal with BJP, our party is supporting Congress in Uttarakhand trust vote.”
- She also said, “Our party will vote in favour of Congress in Uttarakhand, reports of deal with BJP are false.
- Congress MLA Rekha Arya reaches Uttarakhand assembly with BJP MLAs
- Harish Rawat reaches Uttarakhand Assembly ahead of the floor test.
- Harish Rawat said ahead of trust vote, ”BJP ka kuch bhi daava ho, par Uttarakhand ki jeet hogi.
-Heavy security deployment outside Uttarakhand Assembly ahead of floor test.
Bhagwan Kedarnath,Gangotri,Yamunotri, Badrinath;sab hamare saath hain. Janta janardhan hamare saath hai:Harish Rawat pic.twitter.com/TP3PdQG0bX— ANI (@ANI_news) May 10, 2016
- Congress MLAs reach Dehradun ahead of floor test.
- Both BJP and sacked chief minister Rawat say they have the legislators to reach the magic figure of 31 but the floor test is more than a simple numbers game.
- A section of the BJP feels the party failed to sense the ramification of ousting the Rawat government when they backed nine rebel Congress legislators.
Scenario in House after SC order on Monday
The assembly has been reduced to 62 members – including one nominated member – after the courts disqualified the nine Congress rebel MLAs.
The halfway mark is 31. The Congress has 27 MLAs and the BJP 28, including one rebel legislator who might support Rawat.
What it means for Harish Rawat
Winning the trust vote will mean a larger-than-life image for the deposed CM who already projected himself as the ‘only’ leader of the Congress in the hill state. His rivals such as Harak Singh Rawat and Vijay Bahuguna are rebel leaders who cannot vote.
“But if he loses then BJP will get a chance to justify President’s rule in the state that was imposed on March 27,” said political observer Prayag Pande.
What it means for BJP
For the BJP, Rawat’s win will be a blow to the NDA government. It will become difficult for the BJP to defend the imposition of Article 356 and a Rawat victory might also unite the Opposition at the national level.
The deposed CM made the political crisis as a battle between him and the BJP. He accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah of destabilising a ‘democratically elected government’.
What is the crisis
The political crisis in the state was triggered when the nine Congress rebels supported the BJP on March 18 during the passage of an Appropriation Bill.
The governor ordered a floor test a day before the scheduled trust vote. The Centre imposed President’s rule on March 27.
Rawat challenged the President’s rule in the Uttarakhand high court, which on March 29 ordered trust vote two days later. But a division bench of the high court stayed the single bench ruling by justice UC Dhyani.
On April 21, the division bench headed by then chief justice JM Joseph revoked President’s rule restoring Rawat as CM and asking him to seek trust vote on April 29.
The next day, Centre got a stay from the Supreme Court against the HC order giving Rawat a place in the history books as being helm of a state for shortest period – less than 24 hours – in which he held two Cabinet meetings and took 11 populist decisions.
On Monday, the Supreme Courtbarred nine disqualified rebel Congress MLAsfrom participating in a trust vote in Uttarakhand, in what could boost sacked chief minister Harish Rawat’s chances of saving his government.
A TIMELINE OF TURMOIL
- March 18: Rebel Congress legislatures and BJP join hands, demand division of votes on Appropriation Bill. Both move to Raj Bhawan
- March 19: Rebel Harak Singh Rawat sacked from Harish Rawat’s cabinet, Speaker issues notice ask rebels to submit reply by Mar 26; Governor ask Rawat to seek floor test on March 28
- March 19-20: Rebels and BJP move to New Delhi
- March 21: BJP march towards President’s house, complaints about constitutional crisis
- March 26: A secret video released, shows the former CM Rawat dealing for rebels. Union cabinet meets the same day, recommends imposition of President’s Rule in state
- March 27: President approves Central rule. BJP, rebels welcome the move; Congress fumes. Speaker disqualifies nine rebel Congress MLAs
- March 29: Congress moves HC against Prez Rule, single bench of HC asks for a floor test
- March 30: Double bench of HC stays the single bench order. Asks Congress and Union govt to reply
- April 4: Union govt files counter affidavit, gives reason behind imposition of Prez Rule
- April 5: HC refuses to stay disqualification of nine rebels and posts the matter for April 23
- April 21: HC revokes Prez rule after Centre fails to commit that it will not revoke its rule for a week, Centre decides to challenge the HC order in the Supreme Court. Rawat suo moto assumes CM’s office
- April 22: The Supreme Court stays the HC ruling revoking Prez rule
- May 6: SC orders a floor test in the state assembly on May 10
- May 9: SC bars rebel MLAs from voting in the Uttarakhand floor test
- May 10: Congress claims victory in Uttarakhand after a tight trust vote in the assembly; SC to declare official result on Wednesday
They were disqualified from participating in the floor test which took place on Tuesday.
Read more about them here.
The law was added to the Constitution as the tenth schedule by the 52nd amendment during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure in 1985 and it aimed to check the ‘Aya Ram, Gaya Ram’ (frequent defection by legislators) phenomenon in Indian politics.
Read more about disqualification, expulsion and splits and mergers under the anti-defection law here.